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in category Education

What is the problem with Western schooling and education?

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Western education preaches a number of ideologically loaded tenets:

1. Naturalism

Everything that exists is material. All that is true must be sense perceivable, experimentally repeatable and peer reviewed. This marginalises ethics, metaphysics and spirituality as unimportant, mythical, folkloric, superstitious or simply mad. All non-naturalistic truths are reduced to perspectives and opinions, all equally valid or invalid.

2. Chance controls the world

There is no logos, no dialogue and no supernatural force. Suffering is meaningless, and comes from individuals, institutions, and nature - it is not a trial, it is not a purification, it is not person-building and it is not a supernatural punishment.

3. Individualism

The agency of the individual must be maximized. Your identity is whatever you individually feel. It is not negotiated with your surroundings, nor is it demarcated by anything physical. You can choose whatever you want about yourself. "As long as you're not hurting anyone" (even though harm is relative), anything goes.

Everyone is in constant competition for their own material interests. Society is just an amalgamation of individuals with their own independent goals. Forget the "Umma", the "Church", or even familial or tribal associations. Economic prosperity is more important than family and community. If you decide to get married - if it suits your selfish interests - then "economic independence" must precede marriage, even though Allah encouraged early marriage and promised to give sustenance to couples and parents.

4. Personal Religion

Deen is reduced to a non-rational private conviction, faith or religion, practiced only at home and in a place of worship. It is completely separate from all public affairs, even though politics should never be separated from ethics, and ethics is related to religion. Most religion is mythology, and mythology is no different than storytelling.

5. Sexuality

Your sexuality should be celebrated, and it is either just as important or more important than your religious identity.

These values are reinforced everyday and have become the basis of our conscious and subconscious beliefs and actions. Not only is it difficult to transcend this matrix, but it is resilient to change and unyielding to resistance.

So, how will children maintain an Islamic worldview amidst all of this noise?

If their schools, universities, and workplaces all operate under these values, then wouldn't they simply see the way of their parents as old-fashioned and socially irrelevant?

According to Pew, 77% of children who are raised Muslim in America still identify with Islam as adults. That means 23% leave Islam altogether. How much of that remaining 77% actually maintain an Islamic worldview; how many even practice their religion. What will our communities look like in a few generations is anyone's guess.


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